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The sweet smell of bacon product innovation

Published 16 Jun 2021 2 minute read

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Further were challenged to unearth fresh insight into how people across the
six markets use and consume bacon. But the challenge didn’t stop there.
We only had 10 days in which to capture the insights and feed them into the
concept development sprint.

The approach

To deliver deep human insight at speed and scale, we created an online
research community hosted on the Together platform. We identified three distinct consumer segments across the six different markets and commenced a three phase project.

Phase 1

In order to understand our target audience’s world, we immersed ourselves in their daily behaviours and rituals. We followed them closely as they planned meals, shopped, prepared and ate various bacon products. We observed and probed them to better understand their attitudes and behaviours, needs and wants, likes and dislikes.

Phase 2 

Working closely with them innovation team we were able to bring together the findings from all six markets. Over two days of intense workshops, the team drafted sixteen new concepts for evaluation. Given their direct involvement in the exploratory research, they were able to develop these concepts using real-time data.

Phase 3

The new concepts were tested intensively over a two-day period with the same participants to determine their appeal, distinctiveness and relevance. We gathered detailed, systematic feedback on each concept, providing recommendations for improvement. This approach enabled Tulip to rapidly and easily determine which concepts to pursue or ignore.


The bacon category is much wider than initially thought, with each market having important nuances that needed to be considered carefully. Bacon cuts and flavours used in each location were influenced by cultural traditions, local recipes, eating occasions and people’s emotional relationship with food. Cultural traditions played a critical role in how consumers shop for bacon. They reflect wider differences in attitudes relating to aspects such as product quality, brand heritage, provenance, health benefits and food preparation.

The benefits of a close collaboration between the research and innovation teams was also apparent. For Norgard Mikkelsen, having direct and complete overview of the insights across all markets meant that they owned the evidence and could speak with greater confidence and authority. Being closely involved in the moderation meant that they did not have to rely on someone else’s analysis. This
heightened level of customer closeness, facilitated by the Together platform and Further’s unique approach, created great value for both Tulip and Norgard Mikkelsen. It enabled them to better understand what people really value, over and above what they say they value.


Further’s three-phased research process allowed Tulip and Norgard Mikkelsen to rapidly create sixteen new product concepts, all based on first-hand experiences of bacon products. They addressed consumer aspirations, frustrations and latent
needs, unearthing genuine relationships in ways that focus groups could not.
The research report brought together the insights and told the story of people’s
complex relationships with brands, products and other people. It provided Tulip with actionable insights that will aid their decision-making.

 The process with Further has been excellent. Their team’s been professional, flexible and fun to work with. The collaborative insight process helped us get an unusually deep understanding of the material, and we’ll use this to create new concepts. The insight work has been extremely valuable for both us – the agency – and for our client Tulip. This was our first project together with Further, but definitely not the last.

Thomas Aadal
Client Service Director
Norgard Mikkelsen Innovation and Communication

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